In re Demaris' Estate

110 P.2d 571 (1941)

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In re Demaris’ Estate

Oregon Supreme Court
110 P.2d 571 (1941)

Facts

George Demaris fell ill and was taken to Dr. Gillis’s office in Milton, Oregon. While George was on a bed in Gillis’s treatment room, George executed a will leaving his estate to his sister. Gillis and Gillis’s wife were in the treatment room with George and witnessed the signing. Gillis and his wife then took the will to a desk in a nearby consultation room to sign the will. There were doors between the treatment room and the consultation room, but the doors remained open during the signing. Gillis’s wife signed the will while standing at the desk, where George could have seen her from his bed. However, Gillis signed the will out of George’s view. George died nine days later. Arch Demaris (plaintiff), George’s son, challenged George’s will, claiming that the will had been improperly executed. Specifically, Arch asserted that an Oregon statute required wills to be attested by two or more competent witnesses who signed the will “in the presence of the testator.” Arch contended that Gillis had not been in George’s presence because Gillis had signed the will outside of George’s view. The circuit court sustained George’s will, and Arch appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rossman, J.)

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